Matt Pitzer Fantasy Insider
Seahawks top-flight; Cardinals taking off
Since 1999, the NFC West has been the domain of the St. Louis Rams, but no more. With the Rams showing cracks and the San Francisco ***** rebuilding, the Arizona Cardinals are ready to become an offensive juggernaut after hiring coach Dennis Green. The Seattle Seahawks will be one of the division's preseason favorites.
• What we learned in 2003: Anquan Boldin is good. He had a rookie record 101 catches to go with 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns and should be a top playmaker for years.
• Key changes: New coach Dennis Green drafted Larry Fitzgerald and named Josh McCown the starting quarterback. Fitzgerald could form an incredible duo with Boldin, but Boldin is the better pick this year.
• Remaining questions: Besides wondering if McCown can complete enough passes, the Cardinals need to improve their running game. Coming off a zero-TD season, Marcel Shipp is not a good fantasy option, Emmitt Smith is too old, and Green likes young Josh Scobey, who has no carries in two seasons.
• What the schedule says: Road games at St. Louis and Atlanta and a home game against New England are a tough opening, but the second half features poor defenses and no bad-weather games.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
• What we learned in 2003: The Rams belong to Marc Bulger. Kurt Warner is gone, and Bulger's backup is non-threatening Chris Chandler. Bulger needs to improve his 22-22 TD-interception ratio.
• Key changes: Aside from Warner leaving, the only significant change is the first-round draft pick, running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has great value in a dynasty league but very little value in year-to-year leagues.
• Remaining questions: How Bulger handles the pressure of being the clear-cut starter and whether a third receiver steps up. Dane Looker had 47 catches last year, but coach Mike Martz wants either Kevin Curtis or Shaun McDonald to step up in their second seasons.
• What the schedule says: The Rams won't have many tough games. Their home game against the Eagles in Week 16 is the only tough one down the stretch.
SAN FRANCISCO *****
• What we learned in 2003: The ***** didn't like what they had last year. They gutted the offense this offseason and will be a motley bunch this season.
• Key changes: Virtually everything. Quarterback Jeff Garcia is gone, to be replaced by Tim Rattay if he recovers from a torn groin. Receivers Terrell Owens and Tai Streets will be replaced by Cedrick Wilson, Brandon Lloyd and first-round pick Rashaun Woods. Kevan Barlow is the feature back after Garrison Hearst's departure.
• Remaining question: Do you want anybody on this team? Other than Barlow, no. Even Barlow likely will be drafted too early for a guy who has never carried more than 201 times in a season.
• What the schedule says: It doesn't matter whom the ***** play. Every team will be better than them.
• What we learned in 2003: All the pieces are in place, and the Seahawks have the potential to be one of the most valuable fantasy teams in the league.
• Key changes: The Seahawks' only important move on offense was re-signing free-agent receiver Darrell Jackson.
• Remaining question: How good can the Seahawks be? Running back Shaun Alexander has 50 TDs the past three years and will be one of the first eight picks. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw a career-high 26 TDs last year and should push 30 this year. Jackson and Koren Robinson both could be double-digit scorers.
• What the schedule says: Seattle plays four road games in five weeks midseason, but that enables the Seahawks to close with five of their final seven games at home in what should be a playoff push.
Re: Matt Pitzer Fantasy Insider
Where do I start?
:redface: Ok, I guess hiring an offesive coach, drafting a good receiver in the first round, relying heavily on a young unproven QB, and hoping Bolden can follow up on a great rookie season is all you need to become a JUGGERNAUT? Please; no ground game and this team is toast.
the Arizona Cardinals are ready to become an offensive juggernaut after hiring coach Dennis Green
The Rams won't have many tough games. Their home game against the Eagles in Week 16 is the only tough one down the stretch.
Really, I think Matt Pitzer needs to check the standings from last season again. Last I checked, both the Panthers and Pats were in the Super Bowl.
The Rams play some of the best teams in the league this season. Of course not counting the Seasqwaks or whiners. :tongue: